Packing for the Hospital–Part 1

newborn baby
Your Newborn is Almost Here

It’s the typical scenario—a mother’s water breaks and in a panic an unprepared couple speed off to the hospital with only the clothes on their back. In reality, most babies will give their parents plenty of time to prepare for their arrival–but just the idea of a sudden start of labor can send the coolest of couples reeling.  Being prepared is the name of the game, and knowing what to pack and what to leave at home can help make the birth experience less stressful and more enjoyable for the entire family. Continue reading “Packing for the Hospital–Part 1”

Fun Facts About March Born Babies

Due in March
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Are you expecting a baby born in March?  If so, this is a fabulous month to have a baby.  March is the month which marks the end of winter and the start of spring.  Yeah!  Easter usually falls in April, but sometimes in March as well so throughout your baby’s life you will be able to celebrate their birthday as well as Easter and the start of spring.  These special days make March a month of renewal, rebirth and new life – a very fitting theme for your baby’s birth month.

March is named for Mars, the Roman god of war.  In ancient Rome, not only was March the beginning of spring, but also the start for many military campaigns.  As such, Mars is a beginning not just in nature, but traditionally a beginning for great human endeavors.  Great Britain and Russia and other countries traditionally began their old calendars in March, not January.  New Year’s celebrations are still held worldwide in March in many cultures.  March is definitely a time for beginnings.  Since your March baby will be starting their life’s journey, this too is obviously a new beginning.

March also marks a number of other festive holidays including Saint Patrick’s Day, Pi Day, and the tail end of Mardi Gras.

For the month of March, the traditional birthstones are aquamarine and bloodstone.  Aquamarine is believed to be a soothing stone which can quell fears, protect, provide foresight, courage, and happiness.  As a healing stone, it is said to be effective as a treatment for anxiety and in the Middle Ages it was thought to reduce the effect of poisons.  Bloodstone represents fortitude and strength and is believed to attract abundance and wealth.  The flower for March is the daffodil, representing rebirth since it is one of the first flowers of spring.

If your baby was born before March 20, their Greek zodiac sign is Pisces.  For babies  born after March 20, they’re an Aries.  Pisces is a water sign and a mutable sign (meaning it is a sign of restlessness).  Pisces are usually believed to be shy, romantic, aloof and sensitive.  They are deeply emotional creatures with great capacity for empathy with others.  Pisces children are usually pliable, kind, and crave some extra affection.  Their passion remains with them throughout life.  Well known Pisces include Michelangelo (March 15), Albert Einstein (March 14) and Dr. Seuss (March 2).  Aries on the other hand is a fire sign.  Aries are considered to be curious, energetic and restless.  They are confident and direct.  Aries children are very competitive, a streak that usually remains with them throughout their future careers.  Well known Aries include Thomas Jefferson (April 13) and Leonardo Da Vinci (April 15).

March is a wonderful month for a baby to be born.  Under such fortuitous signs of courage, strength and renewal, and with either of two very different but very powerful zodiac signs, March is indeed a wonderful month to be born in.  If you were born in March yourself, it would be interesting to note if you can relate to any of these traits described for March born babies.  Feel free to post your comments.

Diaper Planning for Your Newborn

Baby in a DiaperMoms-to-be are always nervous about the new addition to their family. They ask many questions, and do in depth research on virtually everything pertaining to their growing belly. One of the most common decisions is what type of diapers should she use:   cloth diapers or disposables.  If disposable, should they be eco friendly or regular and then what brand?  Moms want what will work the best for their own circumstance. Some may consider their budgets, while others may consider convenience.  For my kids I used disposable diapers because it worked best for me.  I know there is lots of debate so let’s get the discussion started.

Cloth Diapers vs Disposable Diapers

If one considers a budget, cloth diapers will beat out disposables every time. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics from birth to six weeks babies should have five to six wet diapers and four soiled diapers per day. Calculations done by realdiaperassociation.org suggest that the average child will need 60 diapers per week costing the family $1600 over a two year period for disposables. Families who use cloth diapers can spend roughly $300 over the same time frame and have the advantage of using them for multiple children. Those on the disposable side of the debate will argue that cloth diapering can add to energy usage and laundry costs not to mention the extra time involved for laundering.  Another solution is a cloth diaper service which delivers to your home.  You can check this industry trade association for service providers.   Although this reasoning may seem sound, mothers with older children will admit that leaks and stool “explosions” will happen regardless if you are using cloth or disposable diapers, So extra laundry concerns may be a moot point.

So…Who Wins the Diaper War?

If considering convenience one could argue that disposables are much easier to use. For those who work outside of the home and use daycare providers they might not have the option of using cloth or only cloth diaper at home but send in disposables to day care. Others may argue that disposables are easier to handle because they do not have the extra laundry to contend with. Some families may choose this option because they do not have washer/dryer in their home and do not want to hand wash diapers or take them to a commercial laundry mat.

Many families have gone “green” and have started looking at diapering alternatives. While eco-friendly diapers are not as widely used as much as their counterparts; the “green” movement is making a huge impact across the nation.  Eco-friendly or natural diapers come in both disposable and cloth forms. Seventh Generation chlorine free diapers are available at most retail stores at around the same price as Huggies and Pampers brands. gDiapers offer several options for both cloth and disposable supporters. The gDiaper flushable inserts gives families many more options by allowing the family to flush the insert down the toilet, compost it, or just toss it in the garbage. gDiapers are a bit more expensive then traditional cloth diapers but for a family interested in an eco-friendly diaper this may be an attractive alternative solution.

Some studies estimate that 83% of families are using disposable diapers.  However nothing factual has been published in many years and many families do use both cloth and disposable depending on family needs.

Choose the type of diapers that best suit your objectives and priorities. Stock up those shelves with the right choice of diapers that fits your needs as obviously there are many diaper changes on the way once the new baby arrives.

Your comments are welcome.

Fun Facts About February Born Babies

Winter is always a great time to have a baby and February is no exception. Above the equator winter offers expectant mother’s an opportunity to stay cool and refreshed instead of hot and sweaty like those humid summer months. February is the shortest month of the year so it would only stand to reason that fewer babies are born during this month. February has only 28 days, except for the leap year thrown in every four years. The true term is intercalation which is the insertion of a time interval, one day, to align the phases of the moon and seasons. For all you February babies, the Latin for your month is februum and it is translated as purification. This is due to a purification ritual that was held in Roman times on the 15th of the month, always on a full moon.

Some of the events around the world shared with babies born in February are Black history month, the Chinese new year, and of course our favorite, Valentines Day. February children have the birthstone of the amethyst and their flower is the primrose although some would disagree and say it is the violet. It is not a surprise then that the color for February is purple. Purple is he color for the season of Lent and Advent which makes sense because these seasons usually begin in February. Pancake Day, fat Tuesday or Mardi grass are all events that normally fall in the month of February but sometimes end up in March.

The Zodiac sign for February is Aquarius until mid month, the 18th and then it changes to Pisces. For the Aquarians, this sign literally means water carrier and it is the eleventh astrological sign of the zodiac. The babies born in the first 18 days of February posses strong and attractive personalities. Buying any books on a strong willed child might help in understanding your little Aquarian. These guys are frank, speak what is on their mind and very self assertive. The Pisces on the other hand are very compassionate, selfless and sympathetic. Pisces means circle of life and is the twelfth astrological sign of the zodiac. Two fish are the symbols for this sign. They are more weak willed and are easily led. There is quite a difference in the two zodiac signs of February children.

For a few fun facts about February, it is the national cherry and chocolate month, which is good for the celebration of Valentines Day. Several of the founding fathers of the United States of America were born in this month. George Washington, the first president of the USA and Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president were just two of them. And finally, February 2nd is ground hog day where thousands of people gather in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to see if the ground hog produces a shadow when he crawls out of his hole. For some reason people believe that if he does produce a shadow there will be six more months of winter. Go figure.

Plan Your Winter Wonderland Baby Shower With These 4 Steps

Every new mom loves to be pampered and spend time with loved ones just before the new addition to the family. A baby shower is mom’s chance to shine and get loaded with gifts. Traditionally warmer weather baby showers have been held outdoors, but what about those moms who are due in the middle of winter when it’s cold and snow is piled up?

Baby showers can be fun anytime of the year with a bit of creative thinking! Here are the a few tips and baby shower ideas to make your baby shower memorable even in the midst of a cold, snowy weather.

1. Decorations

Background décor can be a simple design or as elegant as walking into a winter wonderland. Try using snowflakes and a cool color scheme, like white and blue to suit the winter season. Cut table cloths to resemble icicles and napkins into snowflakes. Use a light dusting of confetti on the tables to accent the sparkles of snow. Use snow globes as a centerpiece for each table, and allow one of the guests sitting at the table to take it home as a prize.  Or if you prefer, consider our Holiday Snow Boy or Snow Girl Diaper Cake as the focal point for your table decorations.  Make use of the space you are holding the shower in. If you are holding it in your living room cover your furniture with baby blankets and decorate your lampshade with snowflakes or snowmen.

2. Food

Serve mugs of hot chocolate with whipped cream or marshmallows. For edibles any type of traditional food can be served but Stuffed peppers, Pot Roast or Ham are easy to prepare and will go a long way feeding hungry guests. For the non-meat eaters in attendance a hearty potato soup with a salad on the side will warm them up! A potluck is always a safe bet as, have friends and family bring a dish to share and have the mom-to-be sample everything. Make cookies in the shape of snowflakes and snowmen. Instead of the traditional “watermelon buggy” try making one from pumpernickel bread with spinach dip in the middle! Whether you decide on a sit down meal or a buffet make sure to have plenty of finger foods on hand. Guests will want to walk around and talk while they snack.

3. Keepsakes

Print out snowmen and have guests write personal messages and well wishes or mom and baby. Bind the snowmen together with yarn or staples to make a book for mom.

4. Games

Don’t say “Baby”! Play a game where guests start with one pin with a small bed on it, through the course of the shower if anyone says “baby” the first person to hear it gets a bead from their pin. The person with the most beads at the end of the shower wins! Another fun game to play is the “How Big is mom’s belly?” game. Each guest takes a guess on how big mom’s belly is, but instead of inches have party goers guess how many diapers it would take to go around mom’s belly. Make sure to have cloth or disposable diapers on hand to measure mom and determine a winner! This game’s sure to bring more than a few chuckles from both mommy-to-be and the guests!

The fantastic baby shower ideas outlined above are sure to make your winter baby shower an absolute hit! Above all, just make sure everyone has a blast amidst the chilly winter frost and celebrates the coming of that bundle of joy with lots of laughter and joy!